At the time of this writing 9 years have passed since the release of the highly informative Morgan Spurlock documentary Super Size Me. With its in-your-face anti-fast food message, it was a reality check Americans deserved as a result of the shocking obesity epidemic that had consumed the nation. The pressure placed on McDonald’s (and all fast food chains) helped to revolutionize healthier menu options and put the consumer more in control of his or her health.
Super Size Me was a brave experiment in which Spurlock ate three square McDonald’s meals a day for 30 days. The result: he gained 25 lbs., felt miserable, and suffered moderate liver damage, according to his doctors. The McDonald’s only diet mirrored what most of society had been doing to itself for several decades. If menu choices were considerably healthier obesity rates would minimize to a manageable degree.
A recent visit to a Las Vegas McDonald’s near the Chinatown district discovered that the fast food giant has made some progress on offering healthier meals. The main menu visible to customers is equipped with the calorie count for every food item, from the Big Mac to the hot fudge sundae. Several varieties of salads and wraps are offered with the choice of grilled or crispy chicken.
After a few minutes of intense pondering, the meal choice was a no-brainer for the health-conscious advocate: a Premium Southwest Salad with Grilled Chicken and a Chipotle BBQ Snack Wrap with Grilled Chicken. A grand total of 540 calories. The salad dressing adds an additional 100 calories. Meal options such as these are ideal for people wanting to lose weight or trying to improve their diet.
Nutrition information is available on the McDonald’s website for all of its popular menu items. There is also a section that lists favorites under 400 calories and a brief section pertaining to kids’ nutrition. Fast food should not be a dietary staple for anyone’s lifestyle. However, the nutrition information on the website can help people make appropriate meal choices to fit their health-minded goals.
The health woes experienced by Spurlock in Super Size Me should have sent a powerful nutritional message to consumers: eating massive amounts of fast food consistently can reach toxic levels in the body. The ultimate responsibility lies in the consumer to make healthy choices for himself or herself.
According to the Food Research and Action Center, recent statistics illustrate nearly 69% of American adults and nearly 32% of American children are overweight or obese. A new and updated film depicting the American dietary lifestyle may, and should, be in the works.
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